Unifor and General Motors of Canada have averted a possible strike by reaching a tentative contract agreement.
The settlement, which includes wage increases, was announced about a half hour past a Monday night strike deadline of 11:59 p.m. ET.
A key sticking point in the negotiations is the union’s request to secure more work for the 4,000 GM employees it represents in Ontario.
Unifor president Jerry Dias says the union negotiated hundreds of millions of dollars of investment and there is no longer a fear that GM’s plant in Oshawa will be closed in 2019. He said the facility, which employs 2,500 unionized workers, has a bright future.
Dias also said the tentative agreement will see some product coming from Mexico to the GM plant in St. Catharines.
He did not offer specific details, but said the union achieved its objectives and has a fair deal based on the economic times.
The union, which represents about 23,000 auto workers overall in Canada, selected GM as its target company in the opening round of contract discussions with the so-called Detroit Three automakers.
Unifor said any deal reached with GM would serve as a template for negotiations with the other two automakers, Ford and Fiat Chrysler.
Members of the union voted last month in favour of strike action to back their contract proposals, which in addition to securing more work include wage increases.
(The Canadian Press)